Some of us have complicated relationships with cheese. As a young woman, I have gone through a lot of phrases with food. Before I found my way back to my Italian-American heritage, I am slightly embarrassed to say that I had all but cut cheese out of my diet. We can all agree that is a small tragedy.
How it happened, I cannot say, but it happened nonetheless. Like anything you love, eventually I had to come crawling back. Lucky for me, cheese (and dairy products in general) were waiting with open arms, welcoming me back into their cheesy fold. Cheese happens to be one of the most longstanding relationships I have, aside from pasta...oh, and my mom.
When I am cooking on here, I like to get the most bang for my cheese buck. As a result, I use a lot of parmesan cheese...the sprinkle kind. You know it--it comes in a plastic container with those holes in the top so you can sprinkle it on. In many of my original recipes I call for parmesan cheese, and if I do, you can almost bet that I am using the sprinkle cheese.
I have a lot of [very supportive] family members who read my blog. One such is my husband’s Aunt Carol--a faithful reader if ever I had one. At a certain point in my blogging/recipe journey she asked me, “You have all these fancy recipes with great ingredients, so I have to ask: why do you use that sprinkle cheese?”
I told her it was because I was broke...but that was only half of the truth. I also just like it. Is that a crime? Is it a crime to like sprinkle cheese?! I grew up on the stuff. And it IS cheap. It’s easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes, too. Straight up: it makes me happy.
If it bothers you--if you don’t share my unadulterated love of sprinkle cheese--that is fine. Or if you just don’t like the plastic container, you can put it in a glass dish. Whatever works. Do I dream of fancier sprinkle cheese, like the kind that comes in a block that I can grate myself? Of course, I’m a cheese-loving human. I love the extra tang of the pricey stuff that has been aged and lovingly cared for over it’s cheesy life.
But I am also a writer, and I've got to make some concessions in order to enjoy cheese at all. Should there come a day when I’ve worked my way up the ladder of success and I have blocks of parmesano reggiano and fontina and havarti and aged white cheddar and fresh mozzarella lining my cheese drawer, you can probably still bet that someone in the back of the refrigerator there will be a container of good old sprinkle cheese.
So tell me, how is your relationship with cheese? Do you think it's a crime to like sprinkle cheese? Do you turn up your cheesy nose at the sight of that plastic container? Leave it for me in the comments section below!